institutionalized racism and christian cannibalism

The past few days I have been a little less than impressed with the outpouring of negativity over the excited response of  Seahawk Richard Sherman, only moments after an absolutely phenomenal play that sends his team to the Super Bowl. Endless rubbish that I suppose only the least self-aware and honestly introspective might throw. (As if they themselves have never screamed at the TV, “Yea, baby, take that! We’re the best!!” Highlight the fact that they are watching from the cheap seats). I have wondered if we are more upset about him stating he’s the best (umm…Muhammad Ali), that he was loud (really??), or that poor Erin was unprepared as to how to respond to anything other than the cliche, “Yippee! We won!” (I was personally completely thrilled to see him elicit such a dumbfounded response – it was brilliant).

It’s so much more telling of the character and focus of the fans than of him.

Bigger still, is now the endless videos of 49er fans/players and their antics. I liken it to how my 8 and 4-year-old use all they have to try and prove who’s misguided word or action is worse. We all like to point fingers, don’t we??

What I personally took to heart was the humanity of the game. That was a rough match. Lots of aggression, lots of hard hits, many injuries. I love that Sherman had so much concern for the fallen 49er (while the rest of us gawked at his knee bending in directions no knee should bend). I love that Seahawk Quarterback Russell Wilson said it was a “blessing” to be in this position. And I was absolutely broken by 49er QB Kaepernick’s post-game interview.

(Seahawk fans, get over yourselves for one second and really hear this).

Rarely in my life have I seen a man so broken. I mean really broken. Men who have come to their knees through addiction, or adultery, or abuse, experience such pain. But truly, never have I witnessed such a profound expression of emotion following the loss of a game. Kaepernick took full responsibility for their loss, stating he “wasn’t good enough” to get the job done.

All I could think is that this young man has nothing bigger than himself to believe in.

Allow that to sink in. Really marinate. He is a highly skilled, extremely successful athlete, playing the sport he loves as a J.O.B., has money, things, popularity and notoriety, and yet this loss brings absolute devastation. It would be beneficial to you to watch that interview, largely because it will move you to great compassion (well, at least it should).

At the end of the day, we all need to know who we really are. To find our value. It’s not enough to achieve; we each have the unique capacity to make a contribution to those in our lives, to our communities, even the world. If we are not yet aware of our purpose in life, we have nothing. Truly.

Pray for him. Pray for our young men. All of them. Soften your heart for those you “think” you know because they circulate in public circles. Pray for your coworkers and children and neighbors. We are all in this together.

Which brings me back to my first point. As people, it’s so easy to sit back, cast stones, pass judgement, and be critical. We pick apart celebrity actions and Facebook friends’ posts. We throw around words about strangers that only a close relationship could reveal, and very rarely choose to really evaluate before we opt for a knee-jerk reaction. These are PEOPLE. They are our NEIGHBORS. They are human beings with ideas, thoughts and emotions. They are not whipping boys subject to our own whims and insecurities. To not realize the implications of such intimate connection is absolutely tragic.

 

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grab a pen

As I sat down to write today, I contemplated whether or not to “explain” my recent absence. While it would seem reasonable to share and get you all up-to-date, there is also the part of me that is learning to NOT feel beholden to others. Now in my early 40’s, I have decided it’s high time to finally put to bed those unhealthy codependent traits of my earlier days. In the interest of being transparent, however, seeing as how that is the primary objective of my blog, I opted to share a smidge.

Honestly, I just needed a break.

One of my life’s goals is to write a book, and unfortunately for me and the whirlwind that swirls in the upper chambers of my brain, I now have several ideas for several completely independent books. Sigh. However, none of them can be effectively birthed out of chaos, which is where my heart has resided for at least the last 10 years or so. Not to be overly dramatic, but the core relationships in my life have been in literal turmoil and just as I would begin to feel as though I could breathe again and my anxiety attacks and headaches and nightmares were beginning to wane a bit, another wave of pain and betrayal would consume my spirit yet again.

It’s hard to hold a pen while clinging precariously to the side of a rock in the midst of a raging storm.

I am fully aware that this season would not have been successful nor would I have survived, had it not been for the faithful prayers and loving embrace of my friends and my God. And, I am grateful for the small voice in my heart reminding me that when we continue to serve and love on others, even when it’s hard, somehow it’s the very lifeline that keeps us swimming.

So (insert deep, cleansing breath), I began working through a coaching program for ME, and began spending more time in the bible and in prayer for ME, and made some very significant changes that not only enhanced the life of my children, but subsequently created more margin for ME.

What does ME stand for? Mental Equity. (Yes, I just made that up). It is high time that I begin to practice what I preach and remember that if I hang by a thread for too long, not only will I eventually fall, but then so will those who depend on me to keep them up. If I am not mentally healthy and whole, everything else begins to waste away…

And so, in conclusion (of which I am sure you are grateful!), I am starting to feel the benefits of my new boundaries and parameters, and while there are still significant waves crashing against my shore, my rock is bigger and instead of clinging desperately to the side, I have now positioned myself in the large cleft nearer the top. My faith is strong, my heart is healing, and the view is significantly clearer.

Hold on, climb up, seek God’s face, grab a pen, and laugh at the storm. Shalom.

storms